Workers angry as Asda axes plan to keep store open

The Netto store in Leigh Park
The Netto store in Leigh Park
Ian Luckett with Steven Small

Winning driver cannot believe his Lucketts

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CUSTOMERS and staff at a supermarket in Leigh Park are angry at a sudden decision to close it down.

Employees at the Netto supermarket, which was bought by Asda last year, have been told that the proposed date to close it will be September 19.

There was a plan to replace it with a small Asda store but this has now been withdrawn.

Asda, which also has a superstore in Havant, said it would ‘not be economically viable’ to run the smaller Netto store as well.

One of the store’s employees, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: ‘This store is so convenient for everyone, especially older people.

‘They said it wouldn’t make enough money, but we’ve got a large Tesco here and smaller Tescos, so you would have thought Asda would be able to do the same.

‘We’re like a family here, because we’ve all been together for so long.

‘A lot of our customers are very upset that we’re closing.’

All the staff will be given new jobs in either the Havant or Waterlooville supermarkets. It is not yet known what will happen to the Netto building, which sits in Park Place in Leigh Park.

The staff member added: ‘We were told outright we’d be an Asda. They even painted the door green and put new phone lines in.

‘When they told us we were going to be an Asda store we all went out to celebrate.’

Customer Amanda Richardson, of Oak Park Drive, said: ‘I always shop in Netto to get a few bits, and a lot of the staff have been here for a long time. I’m very sad to see it go.’

Jackie Tindall, who lives locally, said: ‘I don’t do my weekly shop at Netto, but I get things like salad there – I get my weekly shopping at Tesco.

‘We were really looking forward to it becoming an Asda, and I would have done all my shopping there.’

A spokeswoman for Asda said: ‘We’ve commenced a period of consultation with colleagues at the store and guarantee that, in the event of closure, they’ll be able to find employment at the local Asda.

‘We can categorically guarantee that there will be jobs available in Asda for the small number of people who may be impacted as a consequence.’